unHurry: Rehumanize by accepting limitations

Author Sara Zarr cites an interesting New York Times article talking about the limitations of our ability to make an infinite number of decisions during a given period of time, otherwise known as decision fatigue.

If you feel, somehow, that you’re a slacker if you’re not writing six to eight hours a day, and that if you only had more willpower, you could just do it, science says you’re wrong.

As she points out in her post, writing is a creative act that is filled with countless decisions. Other crafts are not quite the same in this regard as they are made up of time consuming handiwork where decisions on the way to a finished product are not continuously required, but the same principle applies.

What Sara’s post and attendant article reminded me of again is the way in which our culture as a whole — in both work and [supposed] leisure — with its pace, its impatience, its demand for immediate answers (decisions) dehumanizes us. I read again this week a quote from Kathleen Norris, talking about her move from New York City to the rural prairie, where she says “I have learned to trust the processes that take time, to value change that is not sudden or ill-considered but grows out of the ground of experience.”

Much of American culture has no use for human limitations, the limits of time. We want things now-now-now. We expect the economy to grow-grow-grow infinitely, at an exponential pace. It dehumanizes in many ways.

How do we change the culture so that we can be ourselves again?


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

2 Responses to unHurry: Rehumanize by accepting limitations

  1. Tim J. says:

    Too true! Interesting how this compares/contrasts to the recent Chuck Close observation. I’ve spent less and less time reading and writing blogs, lately, but always enjoy your thoughts.

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